Dr. George Scangos on advancing the science of hope behind neurological diseases

Dr. George Scangos on advancing the science of hope behind neurological diseases


I’ve been interested in science
and engineering since I was in elementary school. I got turned off to
biology actually in high school because I had a miserable teacher and we had
to memorize all the parts of the flowers and all the other stuff that that kids
maybe still have to do I don’t know and I thought that was just dreadful. All that
changed when I went to college and think like a lot of people I had my career
path influenced by some great professors who taught some of those courses. And I
was completely enthralled with the complexity of of life and how and how we
develop how animals develop from an egg or plant develops from a seed or how the
environment works. And so from that point on I was clear to me that I didn’t know
exactly what I wanted to do but I knew I wanted to be involved in in that feat.
And I very early on worked on a project that was to identify viruses that would
grow on bacteria called pseudomonas. A lot of cystic fibrosis kids have get
pseudomonas infections in their lungs and they died from those infections. And
so the idea here was to find viruses that would kill the pseudomonas, put them in an aerosol and spray them in the lungs of of these kids. And that brought home to
me how rewarding it could be to do science not just for science’s sake but to
actually bring some real benefit to people in the real world. People who
desperately needed help. And those patients are fortunate and that they
have treatments that are working for them but there are a lot of patients out
there who aren’t so fortunate. And so you know if you want to talk about the science of hope you know what we need to do is give those families, those kids,
their parents some hope that they have a future. We’re focused on neurological
diseases. They’re complicated and the there aren’t therapies for them for most
for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALS, SMA. There are no therapies for this. And
there’s a reason for that. They’re very complicated and the biology isn’t very
well understood. The burden of Alzheimer’s disease is huge already
today and will become even greater in the future. It has the potential to actually
bankrupt the healthcare system. There’s a huge human cost as well that you know if you’ve been personally affected with Alzheimer’s
disease by somebody you know that you’re close to you can see what this does to
families. And so the number of patients affected it’s not just the number of
patients with Alzheimer’s disease it’s those patients plus their caregivers,
their families, their friends. It’s the societal cost is I think as devastating
as the financial cost could be. We hear a lot about drug prices but drugs are the only way we’re going to avoid those costs and the development of new drugs are the only way we’re going
to avoid the disaster of Alzheimer’s disease. It’s even if you don’t
ultimately impact how long they live if you can allow them to live better that’s a major impact. And that’s why we’re working that’s what that’s what gets me up every morning and I thing that’s what gets up most
of the people in the company.

One comment

  1. First……And also…..My Grandfathers both had and died from Alzheimer's……It is painful for the people caring for them just as much as its painful for the person suffering it. For me….To hear my Grandfathers ask who I am…..That hurt but I understood why……But for my mom and dad….To have their father say that……To look at the man that raised them who they loved more than anything and hear him say,"Who are you?" Or "I dont know you, leave me alone." I cant imagine that……But even worst……To be the person with the disease……What must my Granddad and Papa have been going through looking in a mirror and seeing an old man….When the last thing they remembered was getting married as a young man…..And further along in the disease being a teenager……I HOPE…..For a Cure……But Above All I HOPE For Something To Let Others NOT Have To Suffer As My Family Did……My Grandfathers were beckons of strength in my life and it is because of them I fight to overcome obstacles….Because even at the end they fought to hold onto life. I HOPE the next generation of fighters has better tools to battle with than they did. Thank you to those who fight with them. My HOPE is for you to be beckons of strength against a disease that aims to weaken.

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